Special Report

10 States With the Most Gun Violence

7. Wyoming
> 2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 879 (7th lowest)
> Violent crime rate: 205.1 (4th lowest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 10.9% (6th lowest)

With the second highest firearm-related suicide rate, Wyoming residents were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as residents across the nation. More than 87% of firearm deaths in Wyoming were due to suicide, considerably higher than the 63% of all gun-related fatalities across the country. Unlike other states with high rates of gun-violence, however, Wyoming residents were well-educated. Roughly 94% of adults 25 and older had at least graduated from high school, the highest rate in the country. Despite the high rate of gun-violence, other types of crimes were relatively uncommon. Just over 205 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest rates in the country.

6. Arkansas
> 2013 firearm death rate: 16.7 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 4,478 (24th lowest)
> Violent crime rate: 460.3 (10th highest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 19.7% (4th highest)

A typical household in Arkansas earned $40,511 in 2013, nearly the lowest such figure in the country. Additionally, just 20.6% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, the third lowest rate nationwide. The low incomes and education levels may have contributed to Arkansas’ high gun-related deaths. There were 501 deaths by firearm in Arkansas, or 16.7 per 100,000, the sixth highest rate. Like other states in the country, nearly two-thirds of gun-related deaths were due to suicide. Like every state on this list, Arkansas’ gun laws are relatively permissive. Currently, no laws require that gun owners have permits for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Additionally, gun owners are not obligated to register their weapons.

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5. Montana
> 2013 firearm death rate: 16.8 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,540 (12th lowest)
> Violent crime rate: 252.9 (11th lowest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 16.5% (19th highest)

Montana had the fifth highest rate of firearm deaths, at nearly 17 per 100,000 residents. Further, gun-related deaths have been steadily increasing since 2006. In fact, Montana registered the highest firearm death rate in the decade ending in 2013. Other types of crime — including rape, robbery, and motor vehicle theft — were relatively less common in the state. There were roughly 253 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, significantly lower than the violent crime rate across the nation of nearly 368 per 100,000. As in many of the states with high rates of gun deaths, suicides made up the vast majority of deaths. More than 85% of gun-deaths were due to suicide, the 10th highest such share in the country.

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